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United States Air Force - O-6 Colonel

Yearly Base Pay

$76,784 - $135,936

Monthly Base Pay

$6,398.70 - $11,328.00

Hourly Base Pay *

$39.99 - $70.80

Air Force Colonel - Rank Details


Colonel (Col)

Classification Field Officer
Abbreviation Col
NATO Code OF-6
Service United States Air Force
Address Colonel (last name)
What are a Colonel's Responsibilities?

A colonel in the U.S. Air Force is the highest field grade officer rank and right under the general officer ranks. It is equivalent to the rank of captain in the Navy and Coast Guard. (Not to be confused with the O-3 captain rank in the Air Force.)

Colonels are usually group or wing commanders. They are also the vice-commanders as well for those respective positions. Most continental U.S. air force bases usually have a colonel in charge of the base and colonels in charge of the groups within a base. This is a little different in overseas bases. A typical wing may consist between 1,000 to 4,000 airmen but it is not uncommon to have many more airmen. Colonels can also be found at the numbered-air force staff organizations.

Most colonels are career officers and have demonstrated a high aptitude for leadership over the span of their careers. Colonels will spend a majority of their time addressing the operations and support for their base. They are responsible for the overall livelihood and condition of the services and facilities at the base. Colonels who are group commanders will assume total responsibility for the operations of the group. While most of this seems administrative, colonels spend a majority of the time making decisions that will affect the overall mission of the base.

Colonels can also be in charge of training schools such as ROTC or any of the military colleges. Similarly, colonels are expected to hold post-graduate credentials or be working towards one. Many colonels will attend Air War College at some time in rank.

What is a Colonel's Paygrade?

A Colonel is considered a Field Officer, with a paygrade of O-6. The civilian equivalent of this military rank is roughly GS-15 under the federal government's General Schedule payscale.

On this page you can learn more about a Colonel's payscale, the process of becoming a Colonel, and the history of the rank in the United States Air Force.

Seal of the Air Force Air Force Colonel Pay Calculator

Starting pay for a Colonel is $6,398.70 per month, with raises for experience resulting in a maximum base pay of $11,328.00 per month. You can use the simple calculator below to see basic and drill pay for a Colonel, or visit our Air Force pay calculator for a more detailed salary estimate.


Basic Pay:

Drill Pay:

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For an O-6 Colonel with
years of experience.

Use the slider below to calculate the basic pay and drill pay for an O-6 Colonel at varying years in his or her military career.

2 or less years

Over 40 years


Equivalent Ranks to an Air Force Colonel

A Colonel is a Field Officer, with a military paygrade of O-6. The civilian equivalent of this military rank is roughly GS-15 under the federal government's General Schedule payscale.

The table below lists the equivalent ranks of an Air Force Colonel, and their insignia, in the other four branches of the United States' Armed Services.


** This Document Provided By www.FederalPay.org - The Civil Employee's Resource **
Source: www.federalpay.org/military/air-force/colonel